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Deus Ex Universe: Children's Crusade Issue 1

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Issue 1 front cover by Yohann Schepacz.

Deus Ex Universe: Children's Crusade is a 5-part comic produced by Titan Comics in 2016. It follows the story of Adam Jensen as he adapts to his new role as a member of Task Force 29, an Interpol-sponsored anti-terrorist unit. The series is set just before Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

In Issue 1, the Task Force must rescue a group of kidnapped children from a terrorist organization in Prague.

Synopsis Edit

"With society still reeling from the Aug Incident - the Illuminati-orchestrated event which caused augmented individuals to mindlessly attack their 'natural' counterparts - anti-aug sentiment is at an all-time global high. Task Force 29 - an Interpol-funded coalition, created to quash the rising tide of terrorist activity - stands as the world’s main defence against total anarchy. In the city of Prague, where tension is especially high, the team’s latest recruit, Adam Jensen, readies for his first mission with the unit. But being augmented himself, how will the former SWAT officer handle himself when faced with the grim reality of the mechanical apartheid?"

Plot Summary Edit

The issue opens in Prague. A helicopter flies over the city. Two members of a Picus News crew, Gigi and Ike, are somewhere out-of-frame discussing something that's about to happen. Gigi asks Ike if this is the right warehouse. She notes that the Interpol team has not arrived yet. Ike says that it is, but that they have arrived early to get as much candid footage as possible. They finish setting up the shot as the helicopter approaches the warehouse, and the news crew.

Meanwhile, in an inbound VTOL, Task Force 29 are being briefed on their mission. Jim Miller is explaining to the team that a group of pro-augmentation radicals is holding a group of children hostage in the warehouse that the team is about to raid. One of the team members, Niemi, asks him why TF29 has been dispatched, implying that kidnappings are not serious enough to warrant their time. Miller explains that the group has kidnapped several children of government officials. As he finishes his explanation, Chang cuts in and informs him that Titus King, the reporter from the news crew, has just started reporting on the team's pending actions. Chang says that someone must have tipped him off. Miller curses the development and tells the team to play nice for the cameras. Someone asks Miller if they are going to abort the mission, but Miller does not want to risk the safety of the hostages just to stay off camera. Miller instructs the group's pilot, Elias Chikane, to land softly. Miller informs the team by radio that they have the green light to engage. The team leader, MacReady, acknowledges the order, and the op begins.

MacReady tells another team member, Vasquez, to accompany him out first, he assigns Niemi and Beaufort to follow, and tells Jensen to hold the extraction point. Jensen begins narrating. He says that, being the new guy, the team does not yet trust him, and that the feeling is mutual, though Jensen cannot let his mistrust show. As MacReady and Vasquez break down the door to the compound, a radical shouts in German that the police have arrived. Jensen continues. He says that they are not the police, but rather a much bigger problem for the terrorists. Task Force 29 is the best counter-terrorist team that Interpol can put together. Inside the compound, the team is engaging the terrorists. Jensen explains that "a little shooting is just another day at the office." As the battle increases in intensity, Jensen notes that it is suddenly not just a little shooting. Chikane tells MacReady that he is ready to leave if he needs it. Jensen hacks the surveillance feeds to watch the team, because he know that they are doing poorly. Upon seeing the situation, Jensen rushes in to the building to assist the rest of the team. Chikane informs Miller, who orders Jensen to stay put. Jensen ignores him and continues to narrate. He explains that a tight-knit team like TF29 will not trust you until you prove yourself, and that this is his chance. Jensen says that he heard that MacReady does not like "augs," and that Vasquez does not either. He comments that he would try to convert them, were he the evangelist type, but that he will instead just save their lives and let them make up their own minds. Jensen encounters a strong, fast aug, noting the vast variety among augmented people. Jensen sees that the man he is now fighting is built for "ass-kicking," but that there is more. The man has neurological augments that fix a disorder that would normally leave him paralyzed or dead. The man suddenly breaks engagement and jumps to the second-story catwalk. Jensen again notes his speed, as the man escapes before Jensen can act.

The shooting in the warehouse has stopped, and MacReady chastises Jensen for disobeying Miller's order, threatening to kick him off the team if he does it again. Jensen retorts that if he hadn't disobeyed, there would not be a team left to be kicked off of. The team opens up a shipping container and reveals that the intel about the kidnapped children was good. There are dozens of kids inside the container; too many for Chikane to take in one load. MacReady finally concedes to Jensen that he made an impression, and welcomes him aboard.

Warehouse situation settled, Jensen's attention returns to the aug who escaped from him earlier. Jensen asks Chikane and Miller if they saw anyone exit from the roof. Chikane says that no one has come out since Jensen went in, and Jensen concludes that the man is still in the building. Jensen rushes back up to the roof, where Chikane reiterates that no one has come out that way. Meanwhile, from a circling helicopter, Titus King is asking his camera technician how much footage they got from the scene. The tech replies that they only really got audio from the gunfire, and King approves. Back on the rooftop, Jensen asks Miller if they can make King go away, but Miller replies that they can not do anything short of shooting the chopper down, and jokingly reminds Jensen not to get any ideas. Two stories below, Jensen's target bursts through a window and makes his escape down an alleyway. Miller orders Jensen not to pursue and return to the team and the hostages. He assures Jensen that they will track the escaped terrorist in due time. Jensen is about to return to the warehouse when King, who has just landed, jumps Jensen in an attempt to get a quick interview. Miller warns Jensen that he will be removed from the team if he gives an answer other than "no comment." King asks Jensen about the operation, wanting to know if there were hostages involved, and what the shooting was about. Jensen replies no comment, and King goes on to ask him if his loyalties are divided due to his augmentations. When Jensen once again refuses comment, King asks Jensen what his thoughts on Pavel Mikulski are. The question raises Jensen's ire, and he explains in narration that Mikulski is an "anti-aug zealot" behind numerous anti-augmentation pieces of legislation. Jensen narrates that, despite Mikulski's rhetoric about saving humanity, he really only wants augmented people "lined up against the wall and shot." Jensen is about to fall for King's bait and launch in to a tirade when Niemi comes to the rescue. Niemi reminds King that Jensen refused to comment, and tells him that, if he comes any closer to the entrance, he will be interfering with the Interpol investigation, and that "then [she] will have a comment, but it will not be verbal." This angers King, who starts to tell her that the people have a right to know what's happening, but she slams the door in his face. At that moment, the camera tech realizes that there is a problem with the camera feed. King wants to know whether they got the interpol team. The tech replies that they didn't, and King swears.

Back inside the warehouse, Niemi asks Jensen if he got a good look at the runaway. Jensen tells her about the man's fighting augmentations, and also that his neural augmentations saved his life. Jensen asks why Miller kept Jensen from chasing after the terrorist, and Niemi replies that Miller didn't want a news crew to see the scene. Jensen thinks internally that there may be more to it than that. MacReady orders a sweep of the building to make sure that there are no terrorists in hiding. MacReady compliments Jensen on the op again, but tells him that "It won't make [him] love [Jensen]." Jensen jokes that MacReady is breaking his heart, and the group fans out.

Outside, King has begun to wrap up his broadcast. The report continues as other events are shown. King recaps that an Interpol team took down a nest of pro-aug terrorists and freed dozens of children. King describes the scene as shocking but "all too common." He calls augmented people "hanzers," and says that they are evil. He says it is them against the world. As King reports that the Interpol VTOL does not have room to board all of the children, the VTOL's pilot asks Miller why they can't just put the kids on buses. Miller reminds him that it is a live-fire zone, but the pilot retorts that it is not very hot any more. More kids are filing out of the roof-access door as King addresses the children in the audience. He tells them that augmented people will stop at nothing to advance their agenda. He says that these "hanzers" have no place in Human society; that they think they're better than naturals.

Back inside the warehouse, Niemi has called Jensen and MacReady over to inspect a door that's in curiously good shape and very well secured. The door has a keypad, and Niemi remarks that it might have a retinal scanner as well. MacReady prepares to blow the door lock with his combat rifle, but Niemi stops him, concerned that the door might be booby trapped. When MacReady tells her that she watches too many movies, Niemi also brings up that he might hit someone on the other side. Jensen ends the argument by telling them that he can take care of the lock. As he begins to hack the lock with his augmentations, he narrates that the lock's thumb and retinal scanners are not even active, remarking that it is a common tactic to make your security look beefier than it really is. Jensen finishes his hack and the lock clicks open. Niemi is impressed and teases MacReady: "Score another one for the aug MacReady." MacReady simply tells her to shut up. Jensen thinks privately that he just wants to fit in, and that Niemi's comment was not helpful. While the argument was taking place in the hallway, King has continued his inflammatory broadcast, urging Interpol to get them back to a Humanity Front re-naturalization clinic and "rip out those augmentations and let those kids live normal lives again." He tells Interpol to let the kids spread the word about their ordeal and "what augs are capable of."

Niemi, Jensen and MacReady breach the door, and find two people locked to beds inside the room. One is an augmented man, the other an apparently natural woman. The woman begs the team not to leave them, and Niemi promises that they are here to rescue them. The team clears the room, and Niemi goes to untie the hostages. MacReady notices that the augmented man is grimacing, and asks what his problem is. Niemi shoots back by asking him what his problem is: "don't you know what a scared kid looks like?" MacReady says that he doesn't look scared, but the natural woman tells him that he doesn't know what the man has been through. Meanwhile, King is telling his audience about the savagery of augs. He says that they'll do anything, even over and above taking child hostages to get attention. He tells the audience that augs will convince mothers that the right thing is to augment their children, but that they are, in reality, only breeding a new generation of terrorists.

At that moment, Jensen spots another terrorist on the catwalk above the warehouse floor. The man jumps, and Jensen fires after him with his combat rifle. The man returns fire, catching Jensen in the shoulder, but not injuring him. King is telling his audience that, if they aren't working to stop augmentations, then they are part of the problem, and that augmented people will eventually take over and eliminate naturals altogether. He assures his audience that "That day is coming. And it's coming sooner than you think." Jensen jumps off the catwalk himself as the terrorist retreats between the two shipping containers that once held the hostage kids. The terrorist finally gets a good look at Jensen and, realizing that he's augmented, asks him what he's doing on Interpol's side. He's cut off in the middle of his sentence by another member of the task force, who shoots him three times in the back.

On the rooftop, Chikane has finished loading up the kids on to the VTOL, and radios Miller to let him know that he'll be back for the team once he has dropped them off. Miller acknowledges and King reports on the latest gunshots. Inside the warehouse, Jensen wishes aloud that he could have heard what the terrorist was going to say. MacReady tells the group that, if the man is alive, they should keep him that way until they have a chance to talk to him. The terrorist was wearing body armor and is still alive, but momentarily unconscious. The woman that was being held separately from the children tells the team that they should let the man, named Bruno, die. The augmented boy found in the room with her insists that Bruno is trying to help augmented people, and Jensen notes privately that he seems to have a "touch of Stockholm Syndrome." MacReady inquires suspiciously what Bruno was going to help them with, and then rounds on the woman, asking her why she was in the warehouse. The woman explains that she was kept to care for the children, and that the terrorists are holding her daughter captive in the Glasshütte, which Jensen explains is an Aug ghetto in Dresden, meaning that this terrorist group is just one cell of an international organization. MacReady asks the woman if her daughter is augmented. The woman replies that she is. Her daughter was born blind, so she saved for three years to get her a pair of eyes for her birthday. MacReady asks her how she was able to pay for such an expensive operation, but is chastised by Niemi, who reminds him that the woman is not the enemy. MacReady, however, digs back in to her, accusing her of getting involved with "the wrong crowd," who kidnapped her daughter when she was unable to pay. The woman pleads with MacReady to help her, saying that she only wants her daughter back.

King is reporting that there was more gunfire heard inside the building, indicating that the terrorists are putting up a tough fight, but that Task Force 29 is "showing the terrorists that augmentations don't stand up to automatic weapons and tactical response training." He tells his audience that the last of the kidnapped children are safely aloft, and that he hopes htey are headed to a Restoration Centre, where "the people do great work," and "these kids will be made whole again."

Meanwhile, the terrorist, Bruno, has come to. MacReady asks him if he's in charge, but when he says he is, MacReady corrects him, telling him that now the Task Force is in charge, and MacReady by extension. MacReady threatens Bruno, but Bruno is unfazed and defiant. MacReady questions him about the kids in the shipping containers, but Bruno steers the conversation around to Marek, the boy who was kept in the separate room. MacReady asks Bruno why Marek was kept separated, and Bruno asks in mock surprise if Helena, the woman whose daughter is being held, has not told them yet. Bruno then addresses Helena, saying that she will not tell them anything, because she knows what will happen to Emilia, the woman's daughter, if she does. MacReady shuts Bruno up with a right hook to the jaw, and tells Bruno that he only speaks to him. Ignoring the warning, Bruno turns to Marek, telling him that he thinks MacReady "should not take such drastic action, should he?" He then repeats the phrase drastic action, and Helena bolts for the door, telling the others to follow. Marek, reacting to what was obviously a kill-phrase, turns red and begins smoking from the eyes. Then, the warehouse explodes.

Gallery Edit

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